Big Ten

Watch a lightsaber battle between Mark Dantonio and Nick Saban


Watch a lightsaber battle between Mark Dantonio and Nick Saban

Michigan State and Alabama are facing off in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Eve.

And while it's not the fate of the galaxy, a trip to the College Football Playoff national championship game does provide some pretty high stakes.

So leave it to the Internet to churn out a mashup of college football and one of the highest-stakes movie moments of all-time.

Yes, one industrious YouTuber (Dan Stephens) has created a version of the lightsaber duel from Return of the Jedi featuring Mark Dantonio and Nick Saban.

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Take a look:

It's fitting in many ways. Dantonio, in the role of Luke Skywalker, wields a green lightsaber, while Saban, in the role of Darth Vader, uses a red lightsaber. So the clip is accurate to the teams' colors.

Plus, Saban used to be the head coach at Michigan State, with Dantonio as one of his assistants. So if you're looking at it from the Michigan State perspective, Dantonio has assumed the role of savior of the galaxy, a role Saban held before he, um, turned to the dark side, otherwise known as the SEC.

Oh, and a cameo appearance by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh as the Emperor is quite amusing, as well.

This December has already brought us a mighty entertaining Star Wars movie. Let's hope it brings us a mighty entertaining College Football Playoff, too.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.